Monday, April 17, 2006

Genetics UPDATED

Today I saw the following: a twelve-toed baby, a 20-plus-person platinum-blond Hasidic family, and a Scarlett Johansson. The Scarlett Johansson. What these three sightings have in common is that they are all examples of freaks of nature, of genes acting totally bizarre.

First was the baby. Good-looking parents of normal new-parent age (30, give or take), but their baby, they were saying, has six toes on each foot. They were not saying this to me, unfortunately, so I was not able to get a very good look. The parents were saying how they think they'll keep the extra toes, assuming they're no discomfort to their child. Would you want your parents to have kept your additional toes? Something to think about--not sure what I'd have wanted had this ever been an issue.

Next was the Hasidic family, who made up maybe half the people in my subway car. Yes, of course there are blond Jews, and no, Judaism isn't exactly a race, but there's something startling about seeing over a dozen children who look straight out of those annoying Ralph Lauren ads that pop up every time you read an article on NYT online, passing around Talmuds amongst themselves. At first I just noticed the women, who looked very Northern Europe via the Midwest, and assumed from their long skirts and modest dress in general that they were Amish, Mennonite, or similar. But then I saw three identical blond boys, with stubbornly non-curling pais and yarmulkes, reading books with Hebrew lettering, and it soon became clear that this was one group, as members of the group were going back and forth in the subway car to chat with the rest. These things happen.

And finally, sitting in Blue Ribbon Bakery in the West Village, which I was walking by but unfortunately not eating in at that moment, was she of the "sensual lips." I did a double, no, triple take, because, unlike the time I might have seen Keri Russell of "Felicity" but my friend said no, that's not who that was, this was an important enough celebrity sighting that I had to be sure. This time I'm totally sure. Scarlett Johansson is better-looking than any other woman around, with maybe one exception. Her hair was light brown and up in one of those things she does where it's a bit pouffed up in the front, and despite having kind of gigantic lips, she doesn't look at all trashy or ridiculous. It's hard to describe why she looks so much better than normal people, even normal attractive people, but in case you thought it was just that "Matchpoint" was well-shot, no, that's not all that was going on.


And then, Katherine and I saw the baby on the subway with the thickest eyebrows ever spotted on a baby. Not a good look for a baby.


harrys zen said...

hello, just read your post, it´s very interesting and amusing. will bookmark this page to read the other posts. you had really luck meeting scarlett johannsen, I hope I spell her right. like your style. thanks harry

Anonymous said...

Interesting to note, however, is that having six-digits on your limbs is actually the dominant gene over the recessive five-digits on your limbs... go figure...

Anonymous said...

i've seen her too- tiny and very well dressed.